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Four ski lift chairs pass under a sunny blue sky. One chair has two skiers in it. The white letters "inDufferin, Business, Tourism, Agriculture" overlay.
How'd we do in 2021?
As the Economic Development & Tourism team finishes up the year and heads into holiday mode (Dufferin County's offices will be closed Dec 24, 2021-Jan 4, 2022 at 8:30AM), we'd like to ask:

Is inDufferin's newsletter 👍 or 👎 so far?

We started this newsletter because we wanted to provide the tourism, agriculture and small business community in Dufferin County with:
  • Important updates relating to COVID-19 & beyond
  • Useful resources for each sector
  • The opportunity to become more involved in the community's "ec dev" endeavours
Naturally, now that we're 6 issues in and about to embark on a new year of newsletters, we're keen to hear from you. So for the sake of staying out of your spam folder, we would love to hear how we're doing.

You can tell us via our (very quick, very not annoying) survey, here. 

Or, if you prefer to cut right to the chase, you can unsubscribe from our mailing list.

Whichever way the feedback cookie crumbles, we're very much looking forward to bringing important news, great events and cool podcast recommendations to you again with our next newsletter (scheduled for January 10, 2022). 

Until then, happy holidays & happy reading,

Terrilyn Kunopaski, Karisa Downey & Britney Hope
Your Dufferin County Development & Tourism Team

Dufferin County Administration Offices will be closed on December 24, 2021 for the holidays and reopen on January 4, 2022 at 8:30am.  Public Works Winter Maintenance Operations will continue to perform road maintenance throughout this period.  No matter how you celebrate, Dufferin County Council and staff wish you a safe and happy holiday season.
📢 The Latest 

💸 Small Businesses

🚜 All Things Ag
🚴🏾‍♀️ Dufferin, the Destination

☀️ In Other News...

📚 What We're Reading
A green covid germ icon
Ontario implements new COVID restrictions

On Sunday, Dec 19, new protective measures and capacity limits impacting Dufferin County businesses were introduced to reduce the spread of Omicron.

A 50 per cent capacity limit now applies to the following indoor public settings:
  • Restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments and strip clubs;
  • Personal care services;
  • Personal physical fitness trainers;
  • Retailers (including grocery stores and pharmacies);
  • Shopping malls;
  • Non-spectator areas of facilities used for sports and recreational fitness activities (e.g. gyms);
  • Indoor recreational amenities;
  • Indoor clubhouses at outdoor recreational amenities;
  • Tour and guide services; and
  • Photography studios and services; and
  • Marinas and boating clubs.
These limits do not apply to any portion of a business or place that is being used for a wedding, a funeral or a religious service, rite, or ceremony. Businesses or facilities also need to post a sign stating the capacity limits that are permitted in the establishment.

Additional protective measures are also being applied:
  • The number of patrons permitted to sit at a table will be limited to 10 people and patrons will be required to remain seated in restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments, meeting and event spaces and strip clubs.
  • Bars and restaurants, meeting and event spaces and strip clubs will be required to close by 11 p.m. Take out and delivery will be permitted beyond 11 p.m.
  • Dancing will not be allowed except for workers or performers.
  • Food and/or drink services will be prohibited at sporting events; concert venues, theatres and cinemas; casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments; and horse racing tracks, car racing tracks and other similar venues.
  • The sale of alcohol will be restricted after 10 p.m. and consumption of alcohol in businesses or settings after 11 p.m.
  • Social gathering numbers limited to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.
Learn more
A blue wifi icon against a row of brown wheat stems
High speed Internet coming to Dufferin County
More than 950 homes, farms and businesses in the Town of Caledon and Dufferin County are now receiving high-speed internet service, thanks to two newly completed broadband infrastructure networks in the region.

The completion of these projects, totalling $5 million, is helping to ensure that farms and businesses in Albion, Humber Grove, Garafraxa Woods and between the villages of Blackhorse and Coventry, have the ability to attract new customers, grow their business, create new jobs and stay competitive in an increasingly digital marketplace. It is also helping people in these communities work, access services like health care or renewing their driver’s licence, shop online and stay in touch with family and friends in easier and faster ways than before.

In addition, construction is underway to further expand broadband access in the two regions. The governments of Canada and Ontario are each committing $1.79 million to support a new infrastructure network that will connect nearly 1,000 homes, farms and businesses in the communities of the Grange, Laurel and Camilla to reliable high-speed internet services starting in February 2022.
Learn more
An icon of three pages stacked on top of each other.  A checkmark is on the first page.

New Ontario report to lead the future of work
The Ontario government is releasing 21 recommendations from the Ontario Workforce Recovery Advisory Committee (OWRAC) on making the province the best place to live, work and raise a family.

The committee delivered their interim report in the summer, which has led to the passing of first-of-their-kind changes in Canada through the Working for Workers Act, 2021, including requiring most workplaces to have a right to disconnect policy, banning businesses from using non-compete agreements, and making it easier for internationally-trained individuals to practice in their professions.

Recommendations from the committee include:
  • #8: “Appoint an expert to design and test a portable benefits program, where contributors could be employers, workers and the government.”
  • #15: “Create and recognize the dependent contractor category for gig or platform workers in the app-based space and give this category of workers basic employment rights.”
  • #21: Develop an employment brand and communications strategy for domestic and international markets to promote Ontario as a desirable place to work and live.
Read the report
A green icon of a first aid kit and dollar bill

Ontario Extending COVID-19 Paid Sick Days
The Ontario government is extending its Worker Income Protection Benefit program, which provides paid sick days, until July 31, 2022 to continue keeping workers safe and ensure they do not lose pay if they need to miss work for reasons related to COVID-19. Employees can continue to access this paid leave to get tested, vaccinated, self-isolate, or care for a family member. Should the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit be extended, workers in Ontario have access to the most generous paid sick days program in Canada.
Read more
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EmployerOne survey released for 2022 
The Workforce Planning Board of Waterloo Wellington Dufferin is calling on all employers to help better understand workforce issues facing local businesses and industry. The EmployerOne survey is designed to collect information on a range of topics and trends including projected vacancies, hiring intentions, recruitment strategies and challenges, as well as perceptions on candidate skills, education and training.

After analysis, the aggregated data and feedbacks will be released to educators, trainers, community partners, government agencies and the public so that a better understanding of the local labour markets can be developed and better strategies produced to improve overall workforce and employer needs.
Take the survey
A "Dufferin Cares" first aid kit, black, with an array of first aid items (wipes, bandages) spread out around it.
First aid kit fundraiser launching in Orangeville
Dufferin Media Cares is launching its first fundraising initiative with the goal of giving back to member nonprofit organizations, with the sale of a first aid kit to small businesses. 

The mini series first aid kit is a Health Canada compliant/FDA registered 600D polyester bag, and costs $20. This includes:
  • 1 conform bandage
  • 4 gauze pads (small)
  • 1 triangular bandage/sling w/pins
  • 25 assorted bandages
  • a first aid card, and more
Pick up or delivery in Orangeville area is FREE.  Shipping anywhere in Canada or the World is $10 flat rate. (Dufferin Media Cares will cover any losses on the additional cost of shipping if required).

If you have any questions please email
Learn more
A blue poster for Small Biz Safety podcast. A cartoon illustration of the two hosts
Must-listen: The Small Biz Safety podcast
It's been one year since Workplace Safety & Prevention Services launched its small business safety podcast, where experts Kirsi Henry and Jack Minacs walk entrepreneurs through simple steps to make small workplaces safer.

While the podcast covers a host of evergreen topics such as Workplace Bullying and Harassment and the Digital Main Street Grant, its specialty is its COVID-19 content, such as reopening tips, preventing COVID-related violence, and more.

Their latest episode provides a year-end safety check-in, with tips on how to improve your OHS program. 
Listen here
A white banner reads "Events" in brown lettering, with a brown box encasing the banner.
Innovation Guelph logo
Mental Resilience in Business

📅 Dec 17-Feb 18        📍 Online

Innovation Guelph is hosting a CEO-led series on new strategies for greater mental resilience in business. Listen to experienced leaders about how they overcame obstacles in their entrepreneurial journey.

Small Business Centre logo
Service Canada for Employers

📅 Jan 20, 11AM      📍 Online

Learn how to access Service Canada and enroll in various programs and services for employers. Information on EI benefits, the Work-Sharing program, Job Bank, Labour Market Information & the Canadian Public Pension Plans. 

A row of young corn under a sunny blue sky. "Farm Pilot Hosts Wanted!" in white lettering against a green backing.

The Experimental Acres Pilot 
If you want to try something new to improve the health of your soil, we want to help!

Dufferin County is collaborating with Our Food Future and Wellington County to deliver the Experimental Acres Pilot, which will provide funding for the first year to try something new on a small scale. The goal of the pilot is to backstop any risk, develop a community of support, and assist in capturing the business cases that can demonstrate what will be worth repeating. 

The Experimental Acres Pilot will: 

  • Focus on a practice that the farmer thinks could work on their farm 
  • Provide some funding to cover expenses and time 
  • Offer assistance in drafting a plan to evaluate the success of the experiment 
  • Include farm visits to assist with metrics 

Submit a simple application form to get started, available at by January 3, 2022. 

*Note that Wellington County will be taking on project administration, but Dufferin farmers are eligible and encouraged to apply. 

Learn more
A brown icon for milk and cheese, a blue icon for eggs, a green icon for a basket of fresh produce.

Ontario helping producers promote local food
The Ontario government is investing $1 million annually to promote locally grown food and support the economic growth and success of the province’s agri-food sector. Up to $100,000 is available for marketing projects that encourages Ontarians to buy fresh, locally grown and made agri-food products.

For almost 45 years, Foodland Ontario has partnered with agri-food organizations to help Ontario families recognize, prepare and enjoy locally grown foods. This targeted, cost-share funding through the Grassroots Growth Initiative complements and builds on the successful Foodland Ontario program by offering project funding directly to provincial agri-food producer organizations to develop and expand their own local marketing opportunities.

Examples of projects that could be eligible for funding include:

  • Branded display bins that make it easier for consumers to identify local grown fruit at grocery stores.
  • A local print or digital marketing campaigns to boost awareness in target markets.
  • A consumer awareness campaign and launch of a new table grape variety to Ontario consumers.
Learn more
The Ontario soil network logo, in green and brown.

Apply for the 2022 Soil Network Challenge
The Ontario Soil Network is open up for applications until Dec 31st.

Since 2017, this growing network of about 75 farmers across Ontario -- of all sizes and crops, both conventional and organic -- that come together to network, share experiences with cover crops, no-till, amendments, etc. and work together on network-generated projects to influence soil health across the province.

The program kicks off with an online leadership conference Friday mornings in January and February.

For more info, call Mel Luymes at 519-820-2358 or Tori Waugh at 226-991-0208.

Learn more
A colourful and disorganized collage for the show, with the two hosts speaking into microphones while surrounded by brightly coloured plants and produce.

Must listen: Seedheads podcast
Seedheads is the cross-pollinating podcast where Canadian seed heroes tell their stories, share their "How To" tips, and talk about the seeds they love.

The podcast has been running since December 2020, covering a range of topics from land stewardship and cucurbits to dehybridizing alliums and growing African and Caribbean vegetables in cold climates.

Listen here
EFAO logo in green

Call for Members!
The Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario is seeking volunteers to serve on its Board of Directors, which helps oversee and guide the organization in its mission to support farmers to build resilient ecological farms and grow a strong knowledge-sharing community.

EFAO is currently prioritizing applicants from BIPOC individuals, northern Ontario, and others from groups who have been underrepresented in the organization and systemically marginalized within the ecological farming movement at large.

To apply, submit your expression of interest by December 31, 2021. You may also attach a resume or other document in support of your application.

Apply here
White box with a beige border that reads "Events" in beige lettering
Farmer-Led Research Q&A

📅 Jan 5-Jan 26, 1PM      📍 Online

The EFAO research team is holding open virtual office hours so that prospective farmer-led research applicants can ask questions and discuss their applications. Office hours are every Wednesday.

A group of four working in a green field under a blue sky
Online Farm Planning Course

📅 Jan 18, 7:30PM  📍  Online

Thinking about starting a farm business? This 10 week course will walk you through the steps to write a detailed farm plan for your farm business. Live sessions take place every Tuesday evening

A woman and older man in masks stand in a young corn field, looking at an ipad.
Communication & Screening

📅 Jan 18, 9AM    📍 Online

WSPS, in collaboration with OMAFRA, is offering an overview of policies & procedures for managing COVID-19 in your agri-food business. 

An individual in a full body white hasmat suit, filtered mask and blue spray pack disinfects a barn.
Disinfection & Reporting

📅 Jan 11, 9AM    📍 Online

WSPS, in collaboration with OMAFRA, is offering an online overview of procedures with focus on disinfection, & reporting COVID-19 in agri-food businesses.

A brown icon for a pint of beer, along with a blue icon for a bottle and glass of wine

Wholesale alcohol prices cut to support restaurants & bars
The Ontario government is supporting businesses impacted by the pandemic by cutting LCBO wholesale prices for bars and restaurants, enabling curbside pickup of beer, wine and cider from licensed grocery stores, and freezing the basic beer tax rate.

Bars, restaurants and businesses with a licence to operate a liquor consumption premises will save an effective 20% when compared to retail prices when buying wholesale from LCBO. This change will provide approximately $60 million in annual support to restaurants, bars and other businesses.

Highlights of the new legal framework for the sale, service and delivery of beverage alcohol include:

  • Allowing licensed grocery stores to offer curbside pickup of beer, wine and cider
  • Streamlining licensing and renewals for businesses through a single primary license with endorsements for additional activities, such as on-site retail stores or brew pubs
  • Increasing flexibility for grocers to cross-promote beer, cider and wine with non-alcohol products
  • Making permanent the extension of retail sale hours to 7am to 11pm for alcohol that were put in place in March 2020 in response to COVID-19.
Learn more
White box with a beige border that reads "Events" in beige lettering
A collection of hands meet in the middle of a desk, forming a team chant.
Building Inclusive Tourism

📅 Jan 12, 12PM    📍 Online

Join the Tourism Industry of Ontario for a webinar series focused on building inclusive tourism in the province's sector.

The logo for the Three Fires Quest. Orange, with TIAO, OTEC and ITO logos within the circle.
Three Fires Collaborative Quest 

📅 Jan 10     📍 Online

This staffing event allows attendees to schedule virtual interviews for eligible positions in 2022.

White lettering "Dufferin Local Gift Guide" overlaid against a tan coloured shelf of eco-friendly soaps
Be featured in the Dufferin Local Gift Guide!
The winter months include a lot of gift-giving, whether it's for Hanukah, Christmas, Family Day or Valentine's Day. With that in mind, Dufferin County's Development & Tourism department is running a Local Gift Guide from Dec 2021 to February 2022, as a way to boost awareness of local businesses, services and products to County shoppers.

This virtual aspirational gift guide will live on @TourisminDufferin's Instagram page, spotlighting gift options catering to various interest groups. If a shopper sees something they like, contact and product info will be available in the Instagram caption so they may make a purchase with the business.
Don't have Instagram or a website? inDufferin's team is here to help! We want to make it easy for all business in Dufferin County to be featured in the Local Gift Guide, so reach out at 519.941.2816 x 2512 or for info on how you can be included.
Get involved
Dufferin County Administration Offices will be closed on December 24, 2021 for the holidays and reopen on January 4, 2022 at 8:30am.  Public Works Winter Maintenance Operations will continue to perform road maintenance throughout this period.  No matter how you celebrate, Dufferin County Council and staff wish you a safe and happy holiday season.
A collection of different professional folks speaking to each other via a video chat format.

This great collection of articles designed for small businesses includes incredibly useful features like "Avoid the “Great Resignation,” "Mental health strategies," and "Smart technologies for health and safety: what’s new now."

Check it out here. 
EFAO logo in green.
Ag 2021 Research Reports

Learn about this year’s innovations in ecological agriculture and read full research reports and listen to audio summaries of trials completed by member-farmers in cooperation with EFAO’s Farmer-Led Research Program.

Check it out here
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